24 Jul

Interview – Victoria Smith

Did you know that there are more than 164 million blogs out there?  Crazy no?

I used to read a lot but these days I read very few, mainly because of my schedule but also because there just isn’t that many that engage, inspire, pump out good content and tantalize. One such blog that ticks all those boxes however is the one founded by Victoria Smith – SFGIRLBYBAY. Victoria is based in San Francisco and her daily blog features cool images, fab product reviews, food, lifestyle stories it’s a magazine unto itself and I am addicted.

I don’t think anyone until they get into it realizes just how long it takes to compose a blog. Figuring out editorial content, taking images, composing the whole thing, takes enormous amounts of time and dedication so I take my hat off to Victoria for writing a blog that compels and has you coming back for more. I read www.sfgirlbybay.com daily, over breakfast at the computer eating Gwyneth Paltrow’s wheat free amazing granola every morning and I love it.

Victoria very kindly took some time out from her busy schedule to answer some questions like her coolest design sources, tips for rooms, favourite colour combos and I’m totally inspired and checking them out!

Thank you Victoria

Photography Sarah Deragon

Photography Sarah Deragon

Favorite home furnishings store?

I am a big fan of DwellStudio. I feel like their furnishings are well-made and the style is timeless enough to fit a lot of different genres. They can go very traditional or completely eclectic. For more unusual pieces I love Anthropologie and H.D. Buttercup. And the flea market is my go-to source for just about everything.

Tips for creating an unforgettable room.

I try to stay away from cookie-cutter catalog looks. I’m not a fan of decor that doesn’t reflect one’s personality or is too expected. I think designing is an extension of your personality. It’s the place I know I feel most comfortable and feeds my creativity. I decorate using personal elements, collections and artwork that really mean something to me, or makes me feel happy when I see them. If you do that, you’ll build a room that you want to spend time in. So, I think if you follow your heart then you’ll represent yourself uniquely — since there’s only one you.

How would you describe your style?

It’s super eclectic – I like to call it ‘bohemian modern’. It’s a mix of vintage, industrial and classic mid-century modern pieces, with colorful textiles to warm up the more austere furnishings. With the exception of a few key pieces like my black leather sofa and some custom book shelving I had built by Michael Woo, most of my home is decorated with flea market finds.

You’re go to source for lighting and rugs?

Schoolhouse Electric has great lighting fixtures, and Tom Dixon pendant lamps are quite swoony! I’m really into Moroccan Boucherite rugs right now and there’s a few online sources I like: Beldi and Love Adorned.

Favourite colour combinations?

I really like black and white with fresh pops of pink. And then again, I love charcoal gray and orange together. I think it depends entirely on my mood, and the time of year.

What has been the greatest challenge or challenges so far in running your business ?

Time management. I pretty horrid at it to tell the truth. In an ideal world, I’m caught up a week or at least a few days in advance, but lately it’s been so busy, I’m posting for the following day. So I am either editing my own photos and adding graphics, or rounding up images from the internet and putting curations together. That could go on all day and I’m sometimes up until 10 or 11 doing posts. Of course, there’s time for tweeting and posting on Facebook in-between. And answering important emails as they pop up. Somewhere in there, I eat. Not very well. I’m working on that. Some days, I go out and photograph a house, or a new shop in the city. Sometimes, and it’s rare, I go out for lunch. I hired an assistant about a month ago, and that’s been a huge improvement.

The content on your blog feels very inspiring,  never dampened. How do you keep that alive?

Thank you! I am constantly on the lookout for new material – – my life and my job intersect a lot, so if I’m out somewhere running errands for instance, I might see something that makes a great photo, or a shop that I should feature. Or an art opening, or an event I attend can become a blog post. It all overlaps. I have just a handful of contributors – they contribute a post every other week and they generally have a theme. Danielle Krysa from The Jealous Curator posts about amazing art and how to incorporate it into your home; Si Mazouz from French by Design shares gorgeous home tours from primarily international/European homes; Aaron de Simone from I Heart Luxe is one of the most popular pinners out there and he shares a curation of his favorite pins for the week; and Nathan Michael is a photographer from Chicago who shares great photographic stories from his travels. I try to choose contributors that can offer something I can’t and perspectives I think the readers will enjoy. I’m horrible about keeping an Editorial Calendar. I am hoping since I can’t seem to remember when a certain themed post is supposed to run, the readers can’t remember either. But I do have regular features I do stick to like Tuesday’s Girl is all about fashion, and I run Unexpected Guests, Thoughts For a Friday, and Separated at Birth among others.

Where do you see blogs going in the future?

That’s a good question. I think some see them going away in the wake of Pinterest, but I think Pinterest only opens up opportunities for bloggers to share their design sensibilities and find like-minded followers. I hope blogs stay around – I feel like they are just getting started in many ways and they are finally getting some much-deserved recognition and respect from the media and advertisers. With many magazines closing (at least in the States) blogs are a great creative, inspiring resource for people interested in all kinds of design. I think they’re will be more sponsored posts, but if bloggers work with advertisers that are a good fit for their brand and readership, and blogs really think creatively about how they share brands you can create some really unique content because you have a budget that allows for great styling and photography.

Some images below from Victoria’s pinterest boards below which are certainly worth following as well as her wonderful blog:

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